Examining How the Denver Broncos Can Own Pro Bowl Weekend in Hawaii
Update (1/21/13, 4:18 ET): On Monday, Pro Bowl first alternates Zane Beadles and Demaryius Thomas were added to the AFC Pro Bowl roster. The Broncos will now have six players headed to Hawaii.
The 2012 season is over for the Denver Broncos, but at least four Broncos will get to enjoy a Hawaiian vacation this week.
The NFL's annual All-Star Game will take place next Sunday in Honolulu, Hawaii, with Denver's quarterback Peyton Manning, cornerback Champ Bailey, outside linebacker Von Miller and defensive end Elvis Dumervil scheduled to make appearances for the AFC squad.
The Broncos' starting left tackle, Ryan Clady, was also scheduled to play in the game but withdrew last week with an injured shoulder. Third-year receiver Demaryius Thomas will also make the trip if one of the AFC's four receivers drops out; Thomas is a first alternate for the game.
Even without Clady and possibly Thomas, it will not be hard for the Broncos to make a big splash on Pro Bowl weekend.
Because the Broncos were the highest AFC seed to lose in the divisional round, the AFC Pro Bowl squad will be coached by John Fox and Denver's staff. With their own coaches calling the shots, the Broncos should get plenty of opportunities to make plays.
Manning, a 12-time Pro Bowl selection, will be the AFC's starter. Playing in nine All-Star games, Manning has gone 98-of-167 for 1,361 yards and 13 touchdowns in the game since making his Pro Bowl debut in 1999.
Bailey, another 12-time Pro Bowl selection, has made every Pro Bowl since 2000, with the exclusion of the 2008 season (Bailey was only healthy for nine games that year). No cornerback has ever played in more Pro Bowls than Bailey.
Dumervil, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, will be playing in his second consecutive All-Star game. In the past three seasons that he has played, Dumervil has recorded 37.5 sacks.
Miller, a second-year player, will also be playing in his second consecutive All-Star game. Since being drafted by the Broncos second overall out of Texas A&M in the 2011 NFL draft, Miller has recorded 30 sacks.
In last year's Pro Bowl, the AFC's coaching staff moved Miller to defensive end in the fourth quarter (linebackers are not allowed to blitz, so the AFC squad moved Miller to DE to utilize his pass-rushing abilities). On Sunday, don't be surprised if Jack Del Rio, Denver's defensive coordinator, gives Miller opportunities to rush as an end.
Von recorded two sacks in the 2012 All-Star game, both coming against NFC quarterback Cam Newton (one of them was officially counted as a rush for loss, however). In 2012, Miller and Dumervil combined to record 29.5 sacks for a Denver defensive unit that led the NFL with 52 sacks.
The 2013 NFL Pro Bowl will take place on Sunday, January 27th at 7 p.m. on NBC.
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